Snap, crackle and popcorn

Movie reviewer Bob Grimm weighs in on this summer's upcoming batch of new flicks

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Yes, I know.

A couple of the big summer movies have hit screens already, and I’m a little late to the preview party. There was this whole thing with the dog being sick, and I’ve been floating my favorite toy boats in the Truckee … I’m just a little behind and out of sorts.

Please accept my apologies. Between you, my God (Martin Scorsese) and my mother (Frances Grimm), I make the solemn oath to you that I will not be late again until the next time I’m late.

Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby, and Star Trek Into Darkness got things rolling in grand big box office fashion. Iron Man 3 getting butts in seats is no big surprise, but considering the critical drubbing and “arty” nature of Gatsby, its success is a bit stunning. Looks like somebody knew what they were doing when they delayed the release from Christmas last year until this summer. I can safely say I found this trio of films equally cool on an entertainment level.

So, yeah, we’re a few weeks in, but there are plenty of summer movies left, and here’s a sample of what’s coming your way. After Earth

(May 31): Oh lordy, they are still giving M. Night Shyamalan money to make movies, and now his ego is being matched up with star Will Smith’s gargantuan ego in this post apocalyptic sci-fi thing. Shyamalan made three good movies (Signs being my favorite) and then he just went bat shit with films like The Village and The Happening. He only co-wrote the screenplay, which means it has a shot at being semi-cohesive.

The Purge

(May 31): Ethan Hawke gets another summer movie with this freaky looking sci-fi about a future where, on one night a year, people are allowed to commit any crimes they want. This has ‘feel good movie of the summer' written all over it.

The Internship

(June 7): I know we're not supposed to judge a movie by its trailer, but the trailer for this comedic reteaming of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson didn't make me laugh once. Not once.

Much Ado About Nothing

(June 7): Joss Whedon follows up The Avengers with a low budget, modern take on the Shakespeare classic.

Man of Steel

(June 14): And within this film lies the biggest hopes for the summer. Superman got a bad rap in his last outing. I, for one, liked Superman Returns and truly dug Brandon Routh. Warner Brothers tries to revive the biggest superhero of them all with a reboot co-produced by Christopher Nolan. It looks like some of the darkness that ran through his Batman movies has spread to Superman. I must admit, the preview trailers are giving me chills. As for Henry Cavill, he hasn’t impressed me in other films, but he looks good in the tights. And we’re talking about tights that don’t have the famed Superman red briefs! That’s kind of messed up.

This Is the End

(June 14): This looks to be in competition with The Hangover Part III for the year’s biggest comedy (see Film, page 22). Writing partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg make their directorial debuts with this, a tale of the apocalypse as seen from inside James Franco’s house. Too many funny guys in this movie for it to bomb out. That just can’t happen, right?

The Bling Ring

(June 14): I'm hoping this film about young girls going on a crime spree, based upon a true story, is better than the similarly themed Spring Breakers. Sofia Coppola directs Emma Watson stealing things from celebrities.

Monsters University

(June 21): Is it just me, or does this sequel to the 2001 heart-warmer look kind of lame? I don't really know if I need to see these cartoon monsters in college, and the sound of Billy Crystal's voice has not endeared itself to me over the years. I used to love the guy, but I sort of left his fan camp after Mr. Saturday Night. (Yep, I just dropped a Mr. Saturday Night reference in a 2013 Summer Movie Preview. Thank you, thank you very much.)

World War Z

(June 21): Brad Pitt's zombie flick has gone through reshoots, and that's always a worrisome thing. Still, I love the zombies piling up on each other in the previews, and the plane disaster looks freaky. Not sure what they are rating this, but if it comes in at PG-13 … LAME!

White House Down

(June 28) Following in the footsteps of Olympus Has Fallen, we get another film where the president and his pad are in jeopardy. This time we get Jamie Foxx as the president and Channing Tatum as the hero.

The Lone Ranger

(July 5) The idea of Johnny Depp playing Tonto, and his crazy getup, have me cautious about this one. Gore Verbinski directs, with Armie Hammer as the title character. If I had to pick five bombs this summer before they came out, I would bet this one could be very, very bad.

The Way, Way Back

(July 5) Sam Rockwell is in this coming-of-age comedy. This is all you need to know.

Pacific Rim

(July 12) Big alien monster type things strike the Earth and huge robots piloted by humans are sent to defend. This looks amazing, and Guillermo del Toro directs, so this will be something to see. I’m hoping this puts Michael Bay’s big robots to shame.

Grown Ups 2

(July 12) I miss Adam Sandler. That dude used to make me laugh and laugh hard. The first Grown Ups was one of his worst movies. Looks like his Sandler comedy slump will continue with this one.

Only God Forgives

(July 19): Director Nicolas Winding Refn reteams with his Drive star Ryan Gosling for a revenge flick that is allegedly the most ungodly violent film ever made if you believe some of the early reviews coming out of Cannes. There are critics out there who are irredeemably angry at this film. I can’t wait to see it.


(July 19): Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds as dead cops going after dead bad guys. Pretty funny that Bridges is doing a thinly veiled version of his True Grit character.

The Wolverine

(July 26): This one is going to be a better offering than the first solo outing for Hugh Jackman's piece of the X-Men because it’s not just Wolverine … it’s “THE” Wolverine. The original Wolverine movie title didn’t have the “The” in it, making it a non-starter from the get-go.

Blue Jasmine

(July 26): Usually I'm all like, “Woody Allen can go screw himself!” but his latest has Louis C.K. in it, so I'm curious.

The Smurfs 2

(August 2): The poster for this thing has a Smurf doing the peace sign with his two fingers which, of course, can also stand for the number two. Somebody got paid a lot of money to come up with that.


(August 9) From the director of District 9, this stars Matt Damon (with a shaved head) in the future where the Earth has gone to shit, and the rich live in space. Jodie Foster costars.

We're the Millers

(August 9): Jason Sudeikis recruits a strange group of folks, including Jennifer Aniston as a stripper, to play his family in a pot smuggling scheme. From the director of Dodgeball, this looks pretty funny.

Kick Ass 2

(August 16) Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all return for a new round of comic vigilantism. Jim Carrey joins the cast as Colonel Stars and Stripes, and all signs point to hilarious as far as his participation is concerned. Ω